VoIP Technology

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol (Internet Protocol is referred to as IP).

Internet Protocol is the communication method used for all internet traffic, the computer you’re reading this on currently has an IP “address” for instance to enable it to connect and communicate on the internet.  Packets of data are sent to and from computers when communicating on the internet, talking to each other via their unique IP addresses.

VoIP uses this same communication method to send packets of voice information when you make a call.  Because you are already on the internet, probably paying a monthly broadband charge for internet use, you can take advantage of the Switch Telecom VoIP Services to make calls at a reduced cost.

What do I need to start using VoIP?

  • A Reliable Broadband Internet connection is required at each of the sites from which the service will be utilised:
  • A VoIP phone (desktop/cordless) or VoIP Adapter.

Can I use my existing analogue phone?

Yes you can but you will need an ATA adapter to convert an analogue phone or a gateway to convert a PBX.

Does Switch Telecom provide Internet connectivity?

We do not offer Internet Connectivity but can advise you on a connectivity solution that best suits your needs.Contact us if you want to find out more.

Can I use a Softphone?

The Switch Telecom VoIP Services are compatible with softphones/phones that support G.729 Codec.

What is a Codec?

A codec is a program, most of the time installed as a software on a server or embedded within a piece of hardware, that is used to convert voice (in the case of VoIP) signals into digital data to be transmitted over the Internet or any network during a VoIP call.

Do I have to use Switch Telecom supplied equipment?

No, but we would recommend contacting us to discuss which equipment works best.

Which protocols are supported on the Switch Telecom Business Trunk Services?

Both SIP and IAX are supported on the Switchtel Business Trunk Service.

Can I use VoIP as a Fax?

Yes, but this requires T38 technology.

T38 is a recognized standard for sending fax transmissions over an IP network in real time mode.  Not all equipment implements the T38 standard correctly so you need to ensure that the equipment that you intend to use has been tested on our network before purchasing it.

All ATA’s supplied by Switch Telecom support faxing.

Switch Telecom also offers a free fax to email service for existing customers.

How does ViBE work?

ViBE analyses voice data packets over a network and strips out anything that is not essential. Only data that is essential to the delivery of voice (data) remains. ViBE also gives voice data priority over other types of data ensuring that call quality is always maintained.

Accounts & Fees

What does Porting cost?

A once-off fee of R150.00 (including VAT) will be levied per individual phone number ported.

Please note that where a range of numbers is ported (‘Managed Port’) the fee shall be calculated at R57.00 (including VAT) per number plus a single base charge of R570.00 (including VAT).  Please contact us for more information.

Is there a setup or installation fee for Switch Telecom Services?

There is no setup fee for any Switch Telecom service.

What payment method can I use to pay for my Switch Telecom services?

Switch Telecom offer both Pre-Paid (Advance) and Post-Paid (Arrears) payment options.

On Post-Paid billing the invoice is automatically generated and emailed on the 1st of each month in respect of that month’s service fee and the previous month’s calls.
Payment is collected strictly via debit order three working days later.

Subscribers who have elected to pay in advance will need to pay via EFT on a strictly pre-paid basis.  Top-ups will generally be processed within 4 hours (during office hours) of the funds clearing.

What do others pay to phone my Switch Telecom number?

These call charges are largely controlled by the service provider that people who phone you are using. Under normal circumstances they should be similar to standard calling rates.

Can I see call costs and duration?

Once you log into the Switch Telecom Clientzone you will be able to access your account balance and the details of individual calls made up to that second. In other words if you make a call and login immediately you will see the details of that call instantly.

This makes it easier for you to query transactions as they occur.

What does it cost to use ViBE?

This depends on how many licences you require and which ViBE device is most suited to your requirements. Contact us for more information.

VoIP Services

Can I keep my existing number?

Mobile Number Portability has been available between the mobile networks for a few years already and Geographic Number Portability is also available between selected Fixed Line networks. Switch Telecom prides itself in being a market leader and has been one of the first operators to offer this.

What Numbers does Switch Telecom Offer?

Switch Telecom can offer you a new number with your Service or can port your existing number.
Switch Telecom offers numbers in the following ranges:

Non-geographic number ranges:

087 550 xxxx – National
086 001 74xx – Inbound National
086 101 74xx – Inbound National
086 700 1xxx – Inbound/Fax-to-Email

Geographic numbers ranges:

010 500 xxxx – Johannesburg
011 568 xxxx – Johannesburg
012 004 xxxx – Pretoria
013 004 xxxx – Nelspruit / Witbank / Middelburg
014 004 xxxx – Rustenburg / Nylstroom
015 004 xxxx – Polokwane / Potgietersrus / Louis Trichardt
016 004 xxxx – Vereeniging / Meyerton
017 004 0xxx – Ermelo/ Amersfoort/ Bethal/ Surrounds
018 004 0xxx – Klerksdorp / Sannieshof / Surrounds
021 300 xxxx – Cape Town
022 125 0xxx – Malmesbury / Moorreesburg / Surrounds
023 004 xxxx – Worcester / Beaufort West
028 125 0xxx – Bredasdorp / Hermanus / Surrounds
031 100 xxxx – Durban
032 004 0xxx – Stanger / Tongaat / Ballito / Surrounds
033 004 xxxx – Pietermaritzburg
035 004 0xxx – Empangeni/ Eshowe / Surrounds
039 004 0xxx – Hibberdene / Kokstad / Surrounds
041 004 xxxx – Port Elizabeth
042 004 xxxx – Uitenhage / Somerset East
043 004 xxxx – East London
044 004 xxxx – George
049 125 0xxx – Graaff-Reinet / Middelburg / Surrounds
051 004 xxxx – Bloemfontein
053 004 xxxx – Kimberley
057 004 0xxx – Welkom / Theunissen / Surrounds

How do I setup this service?

If you have bought a Switch Telecom device then the VoIP phones are automatically configured and will be ready to make and receive calls as soon as they are plugged into a broadband connection.

If you have your own device and would like assistance configuring it please contact us. We do not guarantee that we will be able to assist with every device but have standard setup procedures that can be followed easily and apply to the majority of technology.

What is the difference between a Single VoIP line and the Business VoIP Trunk Service?

A single VoIP line is designed for a handset or an ATA, whereas a Trunk is designed for use with an IP PBX or Hosted Switchboard.

What is a Hosted Switchboard?

The Hosted Switchboard service is a fully managed and customisable switchboard solution. Unlike a traditional switchboard, the switchboard device is located at Switch Telecom’s premises and does NOT need to be purchased. You save on upfront capital costs and only pay a monthly service fee for the Hosted Switchboard.

Each extension on the Hosted Switchboard requires a VoIP-enabled telephone. The extensions can be located either within a single office or at various sites. This removes the cost and inconvenience of requiring onsite support call outs for multiple branches.

What is a Channel on a Switch Telecom Business VoIP Trunk Service?

A channel is the amount of concurrent lines you can have linked to a number/s to allow for concurrent calls both incoming and outgoing.  The Business VoIP Trunk service can be provisioned to include from 4 up to 120 channels.  It can be upgraded at any time without interruption to service.

Is there a minimum Subscriber Contract term?

There is no minimum Subscriber Service Contract term and there is only a calendar months’ notice for cancellation of Switch Telecom VoIP services.

What is ViBE?

ViBE stands for: Voice over Internet protocol Bandwidth Enhancement.

ViBE technology overcomes the problems with VoIP over ADSL by treating voice data as priority traffic. This prevents calls from suffering interruption on a broadband line where other data traffic may be prioritised inadvertently.

Who needs or should use ViBE?

ViBE is perfect for any size of business or organisation that already uses VoIP-based telephony. Improve the quality of your VoIP installation at minimal cost.

ViBE is also a good fit for any business looking to make the move to a VoIP based system. Why not start with the highest quality from day 1?

VoIP Porting

Which numbers can I port?

A geographic telephone number is a number that starts with 01, 02, 03, 04 or 05. We presently allow for the porting of geographic numbers from Telkom to Switch Telecom and vice versa.

Numbers starting with 080, 086 or 087 cannot be ported.

Porting to/from Neotel, ECN and Vox Telecom may also be requested, provided the numbers are geographic, not 087.

What happens to my existing Service when I port?

Your existing line will be cancelled once the port is complete. Any other services provided on the same line (e.g. ADSL access) may be cancelled as well. This may be subject to the individual contract conditions that were negotiated with your previous service provider e.g. cancellation notice period.

How long does Porting take?

Up to three working days for one or more individual numbers.

Up to ten working days for blocks of 100, 1,000 or 10,000 consecutive numbers, where a business or wholesale customer is concerned.

What does Porting cost?

A once-off fee of R150.00 (including VAT) will be levied per individual phone number ported.

Please note that where a range of numbers is ported (“Managed Port”) the fee shall be calculated at R57.00 (including VAT) per number plus a single base charge of R570.00 (including VAT).  Please contact us for more information.

How do I order a number to be Ported?

We require a signed letter addressed to your current telecommunications provider requesting the following:  “Please port the following numbers to Switch Telecom” and list the exact numbers to be ported.  Please ensure that this letter is provided on a company letterhead if the porting required is for a business.  In addition a complete phone account (all pages, not just the cover page)

If the port is to be future-dated, the letter should state the requested date (weekdays only) on which the port should be processed.

You can email or fax us the documents.

How do I know if the number I’m phoning is Ported?

The network you are calling will play three short beeps before connecting the call if the number has been ported to a different network. Cross-network rates may apply when a number has been ported off the network.

The beeps will not, however, be played if the number has been ported to the same network you are calling from an on-network rate applies.

Can I port a Manual Exchange Line?

It is unfortunately not possible to port a number associated with a manual exchange line (“nommer asseblief” / farm line) as multiple subscribers share the same access number. When replacing a manual exchange line with a Switch Telecom service, we will supply you with a new direct dial number for your exclusive use.

Why can’t I port my 086/087 number?

The Law and Regulations regarding  number portability do not allow for this. Switch Telecom is ready and willing to support this as soon as the regulator amends the regulations to allow for it.